BOSTON, Mass. – The Western New England University men's basketball team suffered a 104-86, non-conference setback to Emmanuel College on Tuesday night at Andy Yosinoff Court.
Senior guard Mike McGuire (Garden City, N.Y.) fueled the Golden Bears offensively with a team-high 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including 6-of-10 from three-point range. McGuire is now 14 points shy of 1,000 for his career. Junior guard Alex Sikorski (Rocky Hill, Conn.) added 15 points, five rebounds and two assists, while sophomore forward Kenny Flynn (Dudley, Mass.) contributed 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting and five boards off the bench.
Emmanuel was led by the trio of junior guard Zachary Crisafulli (Easthampton, Mass.), junior forward Marcus Fox (Danbury, Conn.) and senior guard Emmett Riddick (Middletown, Conn.), who all scored 20+ points. Fox fell three assists shy of a triple double as he finished with a game-high 27 points, ten rebounds and seven assists while shooting 10-of-16 from the field, 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, and 4-of-4 from the free throw line. Riddick recorded 25 points on a 9-of-14 shooting effort while sinking all six of his free throw attempts to go with four rebounds and two assists. Crisafulli connected on 9-of-11 field goal attempts, including 3-of-4 from long range, on his way to a 22-point, 3-rebound, 3-steal effort.
Western New England held the upper hand early as the Golden Bears got out to a 14-6 lead 3:25 into the contest. Senior guard Tim Reilly (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) knocked down a pair of early three-pointers while McGuire and Sikorski also connected from long range.
Emmanuel pulled back ahead (19-18) with 11:09 left in the half on a Fox layup, and the lead changed hands five times over the next two minutes. The Golden Bears were able to push their advantage to six (30-24) with 8:06 to play, before extending the lead to a game-high ten points (39-29) following a layup by freshman Colin Garrow (Ellington, Conn.) with just under five minutes left in the half. The Saints scored the next nine points to close the gap to one (39-38), however, and Emmanuel trailed by the same margin (46-45) at the break.
The home team then opened the second half with a 12-2 run to take the lead for good. Crisafulli fueled the key surge with seven points, while Fox contributed five.
Emmanuel stretched its advantage to 15 (75-60) following a Crisafulli jumper with just under 12 minutes to play, and the Saints withstood one final push by Western New England, as the Golden Bears closed to within eight (85-77) after Reilly completed a three-point play at the 6:49 mark.
Fox answered with a pair of free throws to extend the Emmanuel lead back into double figures (87-77), and Riddick scored the next six points to make it a 16-point game (93-77) late. The Saints never let their lead fall below ten the rest of the way in an eventual 18-point win.
• Emmanuel shot a season-best 60.7% from the field, while the Golden Bears connected at a 48.4% clip.
• The Saints held a 37-25 rebounding advantage.
• McGuire has scored in double figures all eight games this season with five 20+ point performances.
Western New England (4-4) returns home on Saturday to open Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) play against Roger Williams. Emmanuel (5-1) hosts Wentworth on Sunday.